Pending En Banc Decision Andales, Arcilla won, at least for now
Jean Marvette A. Demecillo (The Freeman) - May 16, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec)-Cebu City clarified that the cancellation of the certificate of candidacy of two winning candidates will not be implemented unless the en banc issues its final and executory resolution.

Both reelectionists City Councilors Sisinio Andales and Alvin Arcilla, who are facing cancellation of their certificate of candidacy, already filed their motion for reconsideration before the Comelec en banc.

“Ang ila karon pending pa na sa Comelec en banc.  Wala pa gyud to ma-resolve, so ang treatment nato nga candidate gihapon sila for councilors, valid ang pag-elect as official,” said North District Election Officer Chaunsey Boholst.

During the recent midterm elections, those who won for north district councilors include Nestor Archival with 124,466 votes, Prisca Niña Mabatid with 113,908 votes, Joy Augustus Young with 112,707 votes, Lea Japson with 106,218, Andales with 106,185 votes, Arcilla with 104,476, Alvin Dizon with 102,911 votes, and Raymond Alvin Garcia with 101,578.

The Comelec Second Division, in separate resolutions, cancelled the candidacy of both Andales and Arcilla, who have already served three consecutive terms for the same position.

Should the Comelec en banc affirm the decision of the division to cancel their candidacy, Boholst said the candidates who ranked ninth and tenth will replace Andales and Arcilla.

In the official tally of votes, the candidates who ranked ninth and tenth are incumbent Councilors Jerry Guardo who got 99,115 votes and Joel Garganera who got 96,561 votes.

“Kung i-affirm sa en banc ang resolution sa division, then pwede ma proclaim nato katong next in rank, katong duha kay duha man na ang na-cancel ang COC so katong duha, rank number 9 and number 10,” Boholst said.

Last Tuesday, a day after the elections, the winning candidates for the north district councilors, including Arcilla and Andales, have been proclaimed.

Boholst said the proclamation was valid since there was no document showing the final and executory decision in the cancellation of their certificate of candidacy.

To recall, Comelec Second Division granted the two petitions of Allen Canoy, a registered voter of Barangay Apas, Cebu City, who asked for the cancellation of candidacy of Andales and Arcilla.

Canoy, in his petition, said Arcilla and Andales have served three terms already, including the present term; from 2010-2013; 2013-2016; 2016-2019.

Under the 1987 Philippine Constitution and Local Government Code, it states that “no local elective official shall serve for more than three consecutive terms in the same position.”

For Arcilla and Andales, they said they can still run for public office even after serving three consecutive terms because they also served a penalty of suspension in 2016 which reportedly interrupted their term.

In 2016, the Office of the President, through the Department of Interior Local Government, has suspended then former mayor Michael Rama, Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella, and 12 City Councilors, including Andales and Arcilla, over the calamity fund disbursement.

But, the Comelec Second Division ruled that the penalty of suspension does not constitute an interruption of term of office.

For the south district, the winning candidates are Donaldo Hontiveros with 161,347 votes, David Tumulak with 156,755 votes, Eduardo Rama with 141,716 votes, Antonio Cuenco with 140,139 votes, Eugenio Gabuya, Jr. with 123,477, Renato Osmeña Jr. with 121,884, Yayoy Alcoseba with 117,991 votes, and Phillip Zafra with 115,292 votes.

The incoming members of the City Council will still be dominated by the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan with 11 members, including two ex-officio members, while Partido Barug-PDP Laban will have 7 members.

If Andales and Arcilla will eventually get the cancellation of their certificate of candidacy, the BOPK will get a slim majority of 10-8. — GAN (FREEMAN)

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